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OFF-TOPIC questions about homeschooling

andviv

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I hope ATW and Diane can provide some input here as I know they are doing it these days...

My questions are:

1) How much time commitment requires from you to have your kids homeschooled?

2. How do you provide for 'social time' to your kids when homeschooling? What type of social/sport/art/etc activities do you incentive?

3. Obviously, you must be happy with it if you are doing it, so the question here is, what was the process of making the decision and go for it? What was the trigger, motivation, needs that made it happen for you?

4. Since what grade did you start? How was the transition (if any) when going from 'normal' school to be homeschooled?

5. Any suggestions for resources to help us guide us through it? (currently I am thinking about it more and more after a few big disappointments in my eldest daughter's education)

Thanks for any input you can provide me...

ps: This is one of the type of reasons behind my thinking... ;)

 

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Diane Kennedy

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I hope ATW and Diane can provide some input here as I know they are doing it these days...

My questions are:

1) How much time commitment requires from you to have your kids homeschooled?
Initially, I homeschooled David in the AM. (8:30 - 12:00) On Fridays we would go somewhere educational/fun. It got so his friends were always asking their parents if they could skip school on Fri's to go with us on our trips.


2. How do you provide for 'social time' to your kids when homeschooling? What type of social/sport/art/etc activities do you incentive?
David is EXTREMELY social, so this was never a big issue. Initially, he joined a YMCA basketball city league. Then he took up figure skating and dance. He met friends who introduced him to other friends and I would bet he has about 30 kids he keeps in regular contact with now.

I also made friends at two local schools and David was invited on trips. For example, he went with a class to Washington DC for a week to go to the museums, etc. The one requirement is that I go along as a chaperone, which I gladly did.

Because David is homeschooled, we're able to travel more - we do a little bit of study on the area first and so David learns local history, ecology, geography - whatever he's interested in.

3. Obviously, you must be happy with it if you are doing it, so the question here is, what was the process of making the decision and go for it? What was the trigger, motivation, needs that made it happen for you?
My situation is unique. David was an older adopted child from another country and homeschooling was one of the very strong recommendation we got from our therapist (we consulted a therapist before David came to live with us just because we knew there would be baggage). I also didn't want him to pigeon-holed into ESL classes, so wanted to give him a chance to get his English up to speed.

The initial plan was that David would homeschool for a year. But, the results were just so positive for homeschooling that we stayed with it. He went from 2nd/3rd grade English comprehension to 8th grade in one year, for example.

4. Since what grade did you start? How was the transition (if any) when going from 'normal' school to be homeschooled?
The only schooling David had ever had was kindergarten, 3rd grade, 4th grade and 1/2 6th grade in MX - so his education was really spotty and he wasn't used to a classroom setting. Again - I'm not the average homeschooling mom.

But - from people I've met. I've seen two main types - people who start kids out homeschooled and then then send them to private school in high school. And, parents who (like you, it sounds like) see really bad results in the current setting and start homeschooling. Typically, the parents in the latter group move the kids to community college and from there they matriculate to a bigger university. Also, David has a lot of skater friends - they all homeschool so they can get ice time.

5. Any suggestions for resources to help us guide us through it? (currently I am thinking about it more and more after a few big disappointments in my eldest daughter's education)
Check out http://www.keystonehighschool.com/ and homeschool.com.

The biggest hurdles were all my own - I had this feeling that I had to have the same structure as school, with breaks, etc... but the fact is that the one on one time with the child gets WAY faster results. You can blow through a day's worth of schoolwork in just a couple of hours.

I have a friend who is a Prof at ASU in Education. She helped me design a program of "project based" learning for David. Basically, take an interest that he has and then build your curriculum around that. As a result of that, he started his non-profit and learned a lot about marketing, team-building...even business structures. He likes photography and videography, so he's taken some special courses through private instruction and now does the filming for my company. He's now decided he wants to study dance and is enrolling Mon in latin dance and hip hop.

My goal is to give him a love of learning that lasts a lifetime. it's not learning a dead fact that has no relevance in real life.

There also seems to be a socialization with adults that's easier. At least with my homeschooling friends, it seems that their kids will make eye contact with adults and can sit down and make real conversation.

By the way, David is the biggest advocate of homeschooling you'll ever meet. He's always lobbying parents of his friends to let their kids homeschool.
 

AroundTheWorld

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1) How much time commitment requires from you to have your kids homeschooled?
Ug. This is really family and kid specific. Some families have *very* formal "school" time for 5 or 6 hours a day. Other family's go by the philosophy that living is learning and don't designate any specific time for "school" time.... rather, they look for opportunities the kids present for teachable moments. For those that take the more formal route - the time requirement deminishes as the kids get older and are able to do more self directed work.

2. How do you provide for 'social time' to your kids when homeschooling? What type of social/sport/art/etc activities do you incentive?
First of all, how do you define socialization? It is THE NUMBER ONE objection many people have to homeschooling. But... think about what socialization means. IMHO, the socialization kids get at school is something we can live without. Many homeschooled kids learn how to speak to and relate to people of all genders and ages - not just other kids of the same age. As Diane mentioned, many homeschooled kids learn how to have a conversation with adults (speak clearly, eye contact, etc.)

Depending upon the area (of course) there are several non-school opportunities to interact with others. There are several non-school affiliates sports activities. In my area, the possibilities have been: swim team, ski team, dance, theatre, wrestling, soccer, 4H, etc. We also have a local homeschool group that gets together often, and provides opportunities for spanish class, art class, ski club, field trips, etc. Many homeschool families also have their kids involved in church activities.

3. Obviously, you must be happy with it if you are doing it, so the question here is, what was the process of making the decision and go for it? What was the trigger, motivation, needs that made it happen for you?
I knew I wanted to homeschool before my kids were even a glimmer in my hubby's eye - heck, I knew when I was 18, single and childless. I wrote about that experience on my blog. It is very hard for me to wittle my motivation down to anything less then a book. So.... um..... maybe a partial list is in order:

  • I want my kids to have a love of learning
  • I trust my kids to know what is right for them (rather then trusting a system or a stranger)
  • I don't believe in teaching to the test
  • Learning does not turn on and off with the ringing of a bell
  • I reject our public education system for too many reasons to list here...

4. Since what grade did you start? How was the transition (if any) when going from 'normal' school to be homeschooled?
Though I knew I wanted to homeschool before I even had kids, I did put my oldest into K. She went through that year, and 1/2 of first grade before I pulled her out. She went to school because I was in school myself - I had one year until graduation. I figured I didn't have time to homeschool yet - as I had a pretty heavy study load. In hindsight, I should have never put her in. I pulled her out 1/2 a year ahead of my plan as we started noticing a decrease in her self esteem. The transition was pretty minimal, but she was still pretty young.

5. Any suggestions for resources to help us guide us through it? (currently I am thinking about it more and more after a few big disappointments in my eldest daughter's education)
Hmmm. Without knowing your general educational philosophy - and the ages of your kids - it is tough for me to list resources. First of all, homeschool is not just school at home. Deciding not to send your kids to a school is just the beginning. Amoung your curriculum choices are:

  • classical education - trivium style
  • waldorf
  • purchased curriculum (complete with tests, schedules, etc.)
  • child led learning
  • unschool

Right now, I'm reading a great book by John Holt (the child-led-learning and unschooling guru) called "Instead of Education" It is a great book. He also wrote "How Children Learn" and "How Children Fail" - both great books.

If you are more interested in a "formal" education or a classical education, "The Well-Trained Mind" is a super book.

For food for thought on the public education system in our country - "Dumbing Us Down" by Gatto and "The Bell Curve".... there is more to that title, but I don't recall. It is a really fascinating read. And there are the books by Mel Levine (sp?) about the different types of intelligence. How schools only really work for kids with one or two of the types. Any kid with the others are - unfortunately - labeled.

Check out my blog for links to other homeschool famililes. You will find the full range of people in the online homeschool community.... Formal Christian Curriculum followers to Unschoolers. And feel free to ask me questions any time.... if you can't tell... this is a favorite topic of mine.

And... find your local homeschool group. If you live in a more populated area, you may have more than one (often there is a Christian group and a secular group). At any rate, they can be a great resource of information, resources, and .... comfort!

okay - so sorry so long. I knew this would happen as soon as I read your post!
 

AroundTheWorld

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I forgot to mention another book called "The Continuum Concept." I read this book pretty early in my parenting life and I recommend it to every parent.... in fact, I sometimes buy it as a gift for new parents. It is about a tribe in South America - the Yuquena (sp?) and how they raise their children.

How does this all fit in with homeschooling? One of the aspects of this culture is that the children - pretty much from birth - are integrated into adult society. First, they tag along on the backs of adults... simply observing people in society. When they are old enough to "play" the play is to mimick the activities of adults.... they are given laundry to "wash" when mommy and auntie are washing. They are given a little broom to sweep when mommy and auntie are sweeping. The idea of seperating the young and the old from real society as we do (schools and nursing homes) would be cruel and unthinkable.
 

Diane Kennedy

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ATW, I enjoy reading your philosophy on parenting.

I agree completely. The school system, as we use it, hasn't really been around that long. In fact, the American system came about as a way to give free education to the masses who normally never received it. So, the prior system of tutoring and mentoring was "dumbed" down and turned into a factory. It mimicked a German system, designed to train factory workers. Ever wonder why one of the most important lessons from school is to "sit down, shut up, and don't make waves"? That makes good factory workers.

For the business owners/investors here, I bet you don't work the way you had learn in school. For example, right now, I'm sitting at a desk with a "bouncy chair" (kind of like sitting on an exercise ball, but it's a stool on a spring). I wear a headphone when I'm on the phone so I can walk around the office. I keep the hours I want (except for appts). School wouldn't have let me do any of that.

As far as the banner of "socialization" (which ATW, I agree, it's the one objection I hear a lot), in real life we don't work only with people our own age. We have to learn how to get along people from all kinds of backgrounds and ages. Homeschool kids have a benefit there.

One more soap box...in seminars, I see how people struggle to get rid of the feelings of scarcity, fear of making mistakes, fear of trying something new, standing out, living the life they dream of....most of the traumatic events that created those beliefs came from school.

Richard & I want David to have the best preparation he can for a successful life...and that's why we homeschool.
 
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andviv

andviv

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Thank you, this has been very interesting so far, hopefully others will post about their experience. ATW, I will do more research in your blog.

Another question I have is, how do you guys design the curriculum? My wife was thinking of buying one, but we are in the early stages of the research, so I'd appreciate your input.

One of the triggers for me has been my wife's concerns about the school my daughter will have to go (the school district is good, but the particular one where she must go is not that nice, based on my wife's opinion). Now my wife wants to move to a neighborhood with better schools, but none of those are that exciting either in my opinion.

The last thing that happened last week was that my daughter came home really disappointed. My wife asked why and she said that she had worked so hard to keep her frog green (each kid has a frog and, depending on their behavior, it is either green, yellow, or red) but the teacher had given a book (the most precious of gifts for my daughter) to two other kids that always have their frogs in red or yellow, but this week they had been on green all week, so they now had a prize, a book for them to take home. This was devastating for her. I really think is a sad thing that a 5 year old comes home in that mental state thanks to the teachers rewarding the wrong things.

I will have a conversation with the teacher today when I go to pick my daughter from school. But I am sure this will not change. This was the reason why I am paying for private kindergarten, but hey, it seems it happens everywhere. Probably I am the problem and nothing will make me happy, so I've decided to research for alternatives.
 

AroundTheWorld

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One more soap box...in seminars, I see how people struggle to get rid of the feelings of scarcity, fear of making mistakes, fear of trying something new, standing out, living the life they dream of....most of the traumatic events that created those beliefs came from school.
Oh boy.... how can I contain myself???

This is just how I feel! I have come to believe that the paradigm (and the practices) of our public education system not only fail to help children - but that they actually HARM our children.

The fear of failure nurtured in the public school system is one example. We all go through failures in the real world. If only we all could view failure as a part of the path to success!

Another example is this idea that some people are "intelligent" and other's are not. Grading on the bell curve - actually - grading at all - perpetuates this harmful myth.

What about apathy? We tell our kids when they need to learn (when class starts) and what they need to learn (we are in history class now, please put your math away), and when they need to stop learning (I don't care that you are really into this.... the bell rang... it is time for you to put it away) - - - and we fill up our childrens days with school and homework and 400 extra activities that we leave them NO TIME to pursue what is interesting to THEM - and then we wonder why kids today are apathetic?

I could go on.... but I'm leaving for Mexico shortly.... so I'll move on!

For anyone contemplating how best to provide an education for their kids - I strongly encourage you to strip away any pre-concieved notions about what education looks like or how it should be. Forget your own school experience and the teacher friend you know and the tests and grades and the bells and the subjects and textbooks and no child left behind. Get it ALL out of your mind. When there is nothing left to taint your view - start with a basic question. How do I learn best? And go from there. Let your gut and your intuition lead your choices. And, read, read, read. Read the books I mentioned above.... collectively, they give a pretty well-rounded view on the different educational options.

And... as a homeschooling parent - my education and approach evolves just as it does with my kids. Homeschooling is, for me, a very fluid process. We are ever changing.
 
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andviv

andviv

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Oh boy.... how can I contain myself???
Please don't

start with a basic question. How do I learn best? And go from there. Let your gut and your intuition lead your choices. And, read, read, read. Read the books I mentioned above.... collectively, they give a pretty well-rounded view on the different educational options.
Great advice. Thanks. I take, based on this comment, that you design your own curriculum, right?
 

AroundTheWorld

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Another question I have is, how do you guys design the curriculum? My wife was thinking of buying one, but we are in the early stages of the research, so I'd appreciate your input.
On curriculum

I have found that we have really evolved. We started with a purchased curriculum that looked good to me. It was literature based and that really appealed to me.

When we got it - some aspects of the curriculum worked GREAT for us, and my kids just didn't respond to some of the other aspects ... so I went "shopping" for a replacement in that area. Many homeschool families I know end up with a pretty eclectic curriculum. We are now essentially an unschool family.

But, I think it really starts with "What do you believe about education?" And, the first question, I think is do you believe in child-led learning or structured learning?

If you are in the child-led learning camp.... there is unschooling, unit studies, montessori (sort of). In the structured camp, there are several "purchased" curriculums available... or a classical education (read the Well-Trained Mind) for that.

But, it is an evolving process.... what ever you decide on initially may not work for your daughter... and that is okay. Keep what works, and tweak what doesn't. That is the beautiful thing about homeschooling. You have the ability to respond to what is happening with your daughter.... to what works and what does not.
 

AroundTheWorld

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The last thing that happened last week was that my daughter came home really disappointed. My wife asked why and she said that she had worked so hard to keep her frog green (each kid has a frog and, depending on their behavior, it is either green, yellow, or red) but the teacher had given a book (the most precious of gifts for my daughter) to two other kids that always have their frogs in red or yellow, but this week they had been on green all week, so they now had a prize, a book for them to take home. This was devastating for her. I really think is a sad thing that a 5 year old comes home in that mental state thanks to the teachers rewarding the wrong things.
Oh, I am so sorry to hear this happened.

When I pulled my oldest out of school - it was because I had noticed her mood to be very melencholy and her self confidence was just going down, down, down. I went in to ask the teacher if she had noticed anything going on at school. The teacher, said.... "no, not really. Well, I have noticed that she is slumping in her chair during yelling spelling and she is not participating" She said it as if it were no big deal. To me, it was a huge deal.

Turns out that my daughter's learning style just really clashed with many of the methods being used that year and she was not "getting it". I pulled her out immediately. For the next year, she HATED spelling and I could see this negative-self-talk going on in her head every time we pulled out a spelling workbook. It has gotten better - but spelling is still one of her least favorite areas.

What happened to your daughter reminds me of my brother.... when he was young - he LOVED computers.... took them apart, put them back together... got into programming and other things I don't understand... He is a very kinesthetic learner. Always on the move. Well, that didn't fit in with the "sit down and shut up" idea that the school had. He got into "trouble" and the punishment was to take away his computer time!!!!

How sad. Not only did it hurt his self-confidence but it also took away the area that he really excelled at.
 

Diane Kennedy

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On curriculum

We started out with a pretty structured program. Again, our situation was unique. David had been severely abused at a state run orphanage in MX. He had been drugged up with 3 drugs (2 which are used in the US, one of which was made illegal in the 30's) and it actually did some brain damage. Our psychologist has a different approach - she charts brain function and then does neural-psychology training to "grow" around trouble spots. As long as you catch a child before 15, you can make amazing progress with a whole range of issues such as dyslexia, ADD, ADHD, etc... the brain actually reprograms at 15.

So our first year was comprised of homeschooling plus very specific exercises to create synapses around the damaged part. David has an IQ of 135, so there is nothing wrong with his intelligence, by anyone's definition - but he had brain damage that used to stop a few logical functions. Not anymore.

We could NEVER have done that in a conventional setting. That's part of why we started with it.

We then moved to the project based learning. What does your daughter like to do? As an example, David was initially interested in music. We created a curriculum around that - the history of different types of music, learned to read music (math skills), learned basics for piano and drum...then that led to mixing his own music, which led to more advanced computer skills...and so on. The project has just evolved.

On a completely different note, there are times that we go out socially with groups of people and inevitably someone will ask me a tax question. Twice I've had a very high powered business owner ask me a question when David is near by, I answer with a short answer (more yes or no) and then the next thing I know David is explaining why the answer is that. I can't believe how much he's learned about business structures and tax law from just being around us.

At 16, he's already been offered 2 different apprenticeships when he's ready - starting at $40K - $60K. Those have come from these very same businessmen who were impressed with his knowledge and more importantly, the way he spoke and carried himself. He learned that from the opportunities of homeschooling.

I have friends who are teachers and they state unequivocably that children who homeschool at an early age will have much higher reading comprehension and language skills. They are more social and more adaptable. Generally in high school, the public school kids (the ones that are still in school...) catch up to the homeschooled kids in academics. But up until then, the homeschool kids have an advantage.
 

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Diane Kennedy

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Can you tell that ATW and I are very passionate about this subject?

ATW, where in Mexico are you going?
 
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andviv

andviv

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Yeah, I can tell... that's why I asked for your opinions... I tend to like feedback from those that are getting results (positive feedback first) and then analyze how it fits with me and my life.

As a project, I can tell she likes reading and writing a lot. It is a fact that she prefers to go to read a book while the others are choosing toys or more physical activities when they have 'free time' in school. She has taken on herself the task of learning how to write, and has always enjoyed reading time. I can easily see a curriculum started around that. She also loves dinosaurs and the animal kingdom in general. Reading about animals is very exciting for her. Also, ballet. She likes dancing and ballet has always appealed to her.
 

rcardin

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Thank you, this has been very interesting so far, hopefully others will post about their experience. ATW, I will do more research in your blog.



The last thing that happened last week was that my daughter came home really disappointed. My wife asked why and she said that she had worked so hard to keep her frog green (each kid has a frog and, depending on their behavior, it is either green, yellow, or red) but the teacher had given a book (the most precious of gifts for my daughter) to two other kids that always have their frogs in red or yellow, but this week they had been on green all week, so they now had a prize, a book for them to take home. This was devastating for her. I really think is a sad thing that a 5 year old comes home in that mental state thanks to the teachers rewarding the wrong things.

I will have a conversation with the teacher today when I go to pick my daughter from school. But I am sure this will not change. This was the reason why I am paying for private kindergarten, but hey, it seems it happens everywhere. Probably I am the problem and nothing will make me happy, so I've decided to research for alternatives.
As a Professional Educator maybe I can shed a little light on this. These kids that got the books always have behavior problems but this week they finally got it right. It may be the only time they have ever done this. If you reward the behavior you have a chance of them actually behaving again next week. If you don't reward them they don't see any need to behave in school. I have a daughter (11) who is one of the good ones also. Never gets into trouble at school, mostly because she knows daddy will still whoop her butt at home. :nono:
At age 5 disappointment is one of the things kids learn at school. Not being picked first for games, not having the best grades, not having the latest toys.

Also look at what the requirements are for teaching at this private school. Many times the teachers aren't certified by the state, make much less than a public school teacher, and have less benefits.

As far as pulling her out in Kinder I would say its a little early unless you have been trained in reading strategies. My degree is in reading and I would say it is the hardest thing to teach a child. You need to decide if you will use whole language techniques (I would not) or Phonic based reading. Remember every subject that is taught is based on reading. I teach kids who are not strong readers and they struggle in most of their other subjects.

Do I think Public education is good? NO. I think it is an absolute mess. It is very political and doesn't have the children in mind first. NCLB is a joke. Not every child is college bound. some need to be trained to be plumbers and electricians but we don't offer that at school.

Just my little rant for the day
 

Diane Kennedy

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As a project, I can tell she likes reading and writing a lot. It is a fact that she prefers to go to read a book while the others are choosing toys or more physical activities when they have 'free time' in school. She has taken on herself the task of learning how to write, and has always enjoyed reading time. I can easily see a curriculum started around that. She also loves dinosaurs and the animal kingdom in general. Reading about animals is very exciting for her. Also, ballet. She likes dancing and ballet has always appealed to her.
It would be a great project to study about dinosaurs - read about them, write about them (either non-fiction or fiction) and then cap it all up with a trip to a museum. For an older child, I'd probably also make a project out of watching Jurassic Park and maybe a few other Hollywood style dinosaur movies...and then pick apart the things that aren't accurate. How important were those changes to the story line? why did the writer/director do that? Make a timeline of the dinosaur age. Study geology. Go out on an archaeological dig. Draw or sculpt dinosaurs out of clay. Make a diorama. All of that is depending on the child's age and interest - but there is a lot here that would be fun and engaging for me....and maybe the child as well!
 

kurtyordy

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Growing up I had the opinion that you could pick a home school kid out from a mile away. And for the most part, I was right. In my circle, people homeschooled to protect them from the evils of society. Therefore, they were typically undersocialized. That changed when I went to college. I met a girl in my art class who was in the Miss Pennsylvania competition. I was blown away when she told me she was homeschooled.

Nowadays, the tide seems to have shifted, and homeschooling is much more main line. My wife and I are planning to start homeschooling next year, though my wife is not 100% on board yet.

For me it came down to quality of education. Why are the top finishers of national spelling and geography bees typically homeschoolers? This was my drive.

I look forward to starting. As far as socialization goes, I was speaking to a vendor the last year who home schools his kids. His statement to me was, "If I was concerned about raising quality kids, I would be more worried about them getting more time around other kids. But since my goal is to raise successful adults, I think I will keep trying to influence them with other adults." Which btw he did by bringing them to his factory and on trips to customers. I liked that mindset a lot.
 

kurtyordy

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I forgot to add. I have seen this story many times, not sure where it originated, but I do not mean to steal or take credit for it. It sums up a lot about our societies educations system.
Once upon a time the animals decided they must do something heroic to meet the problems of a "new world," so they organized a school.

They adopted an activity curriculum consisting of running, climbing, swimming, and flying. To make it easier to administer the curriculum, ALL the animals took ALL subjects.

The duck was excellent in swimming -- in fact, better than his instructor; but he made only passing grades in flying and was very poor in running. Since he was slow in running, he had to stay after school and also drop swimming in order to practice running. This was kept up until his web feet were badly worn, so then he was only average in swimming. But average was acceptable in school, so nobody worried about that except the duck.

The rabbit started at the top of the class in running, but he had a nervous breakdown because of so much make-up work in swimming.

The squirrel was excellent in climbing until he developed frustration in the flying class, where his teacher made him start from the ground up instead of the treetop down. He also developed "Charlie horses" from over-exertion and then got a "C" in climbing and a "D" in running.

The eagle was a problem child and was disciplined severely. In the climbing class he beat all others to the top of the tree, but insisted on using his own way to get there.

At the end of the year an abnormal eel that could swim exceedingly well and also could run, climb, and fly a little had the highest average and was named valedictorian.

The prairie dogs stayed out of school and fought the tax levy because the administration would not add digging and burrowing to the curriculum. They apprenticed their child to a badger and later joined the ground hogs and the gophers in order to start a successful private school.
 

Diane Kennedy

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His statement to me was, "If I was concerned about raising quality kids, I would be more worried about them getting more time around other kids. But since my goal is to raise successful adults, I think I will keep trying to influence them with other adults." Which btw he did by bringing them to his factory and on trips to customers. I liked that mindset a lot.
That's a great point. I like the idea of including children in your business/investing, at whatever level they can. That's simply something a child in the regular schedule with dawn to late at night school/homework/activities can not do.
 

AroundTheWorld

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Can you tell that ATW and I are very passionate about this subject?

ATW, where in Mexico are you going?
We are doing a huge loop. We are actually in San Diego right now.... waiting for someone to fly in and meet us. Then, we are going down to the Baja peninsula. Then we will take a ferry over to the main land and work our way back up north again. All said and done, we will be there for a month.

As far as pulling her out in Kinder I would say its a little early unless you have been trained in reading strategies. My degree is in reading and I would say it is the hardest thing to teach a child. You need to decide if you will use whole language techniques (I would not) or Phonic based reading. Remember every subject that is taught is based on reading. I teach kids who are not strong readers and they struggle in most of their other subjects.

I'll bite my tongue on this one.... I have great respect for what teachers do considering what they have to work with and I don't want to start a fight.... but it does bring up another topic which is *when* to teach reading. It sounds to me like your daughter is really enjoying reading, so is probably a non issue with regards to her, but for other kids, there is the choice about whether or not to delay reading. I made that choice with one of my kids, and it worked out really well.
 
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andviv

andviv

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As a Professional Educator maybe I can shed a little light on this. These kids that got the books always have behavior problems but this week they finally got it right. It may be the only time they have ever done this. If you reward the behavior you have a chance of them actually behaving again next week. If you don't reward them they don't see any need to behave in school.
Thanks for the insight here, rcardin. Now, understanding the situation doesn't make me feel any better. In fact, I do understand why they are doing it, I just don't agree with it. It is rewarding bad behavior and punishing the one that you want to encourage. Back in my country they have some times of the year when people that have not payed taxes get an amnesty. They are forgiven most, if not all, of the penalties, plus discounts for old years' payments that are pending. So what is the motivation for you to pay taxes on time? In her case, why to behave and don't get a precious book, when misbehaving now and then will get me a book?

At age 5 disappointment is one of the things kids learn at school. Not being picked first for games, not having the best grades, not having the latest toys.
Oh believe me, she knows and understands disappointment. I just don't agree with putting her through an unnecessary amount of stress thanks to unfair behavior. Learning unfairness is very simple, just look around you... teaching fairness is very hard and something I want to do or at least incentive.

Also look at what the requirements are for teaching at this private school. Many times the teachers aren't certified by the state, make much less than a public school teacher, and have less benefits.
Yes, I've seen this before, but this teacher was a public school teacher for 10 years, and has 'great credentials'.
As far as pulling her out in Kinder I would say its a little early unless you have been trained in reading strategies. My degree is in reading and I would say it is the hardest thing to teach a child. You need to decide if you will use whole language techniques (I would not) or Phonic based reading. Remember every subject that is taught is based on reading. I teach kids who are not strong readers and they struggle in most of their other subjects.
Thanks for your input in this area. In our case, we have been teaching her phonic based reading. It helps that we speak Spanish at home, and it is very easy to 'read' as words sound just like they are written, so once she recognizes that the text is in spanish she goes very fast through it. In English she is having a little bit of more 'challenges' but she really enjoys it. Now, I haven't decided to pull her out yet, I just want to find the options we have, rather than just complaint and do nothing about it.




Diane, I LOVE your ideas about the topics around dinosaurs.
 

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AroundTheWorld

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That's a great point. I like the idea of including children in your business/investing, at whatever level they can. That's simply something a child in the regular schedule with dawn to late at night school/homework/activities can not do.
Exactly!!! Learning happens in every day life.... all around us.... not in a can.

Absorb your kids into your life and take advantage of teachable moments. Live life, have fun, learn. That is what it is all about!
 

Diane Kennedy

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Okay one more point - prompted by Kurtyordy's comment.

I think that homeschooled kids are around adults more than public school kids. I'm reminded of the stat I heard one time that if a child had 5 or more adults that were close in their life (family or friends), the chances reduced by 50% that they would get involved in drugs. In today's American lifestyle, a lot of kids don't have the extended family contact that days gone by would have, so who fills that void? I know that David has probably a dozen adults that he could talk to about anything and serve as role models. All of them have their own businesses or are self-employed and all believe strongly in personal accountability. That opportunity is priceless.
 

Russ H

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Bump up for Sonya, if you're assembling an archive of kid posts.

-Russ H.
 

AroundTheWorld

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Thanks for the bump. Forgot all about this on too!

Since it has been bumped.... kurtyordy, andviv, what did you guys end up doing? Public school year is just around the corner!
 

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My wife did an excellent job with our two oldest for kindergarten. The plan this year is to more team teach, but we have not settled in the curriculum yet.
 

kidgas

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Missed this thread a year ago. I don't know that I have a ton to add to the discussion except to echo that I think the most important thing to distill in children is the life long love of learning. What in your current way of providing for yourself and your family was learned in a formal setting? Each day we are faced with new challenges and problems that require problem solving skills and adaptability. A formal, rigid setting in the public school does not encourage this type of flexibility.

I went through the public school system and was bored out of my mind. Fortunately, I have a quiet disposition and did not get into trouble. I would often sit in the back of the room and read books while the lesson about things I already knew was being taught.

My wife and I have 6 kids and we started home schooling with the first since she just missed the cutoff to get started into kindergarten but was already reading. We taught her at home and all the rest now until high school. The oldest two girls are now in high school. One will be a senior and one a sophomore this year. The oldest took about 2 weeks to adjust to having a "schedule" since we were pretty relaxed at home. My only complaint is that she has tremendous potential but fails to live up to it. She is happy with a 3.1/4.0 GPA. I am not.

Socialization seems to be the only argument that anyone can ever bring against homeschooling. No one I have ever talked to questions the education. Ours don't seem to have much trouble since they are around plenty of other kids at soccer and gymnastics. That is where they learn most of their foul language so they are getting plenty of socialization.

Our curriculum has focused on reading and math. Our feeling is that if you can read and understand what you are reading, you can learn anything.

Just a few comments since I missed this before.
 

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Socialization seems to be the only argument that anyone can ever bring against homeschooling. No one I have ever talked to questions the education.
Sorry, kidgas, disagree with you there. Maybe you aren't talking to the right people. I have personally seen many parents that were "homeschooling" their kids when they really weren't. I have spoken about it many times. I'm not against homeschooling, I'm against the kids not getting an education.

I have sat in on many parent meetings where they didn't agree with the public schools so they withdraw their kids to homeschool. Then the parents come back to the school for us to provide curriculum and to tell them how to teach it. Many parents are not academically capable of delivering an education to their kids. Some parents are too lazy to make education a treat or a requirement. Many homeschoolers return to the public schools after a few months. Reasons for this are many.
 

kidgas

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Runum,
I agree that there are some parents who don't really "homeschool". I have known of those types of parents. Sad to say, the ones that I know of get very little education in either the home or public setting. Yes, there are plenty of lazy parents. In that case, the public system may be the best shot these kids have to break the familial cycle of ignorance.

You are right in saying that I am not talking to the right people. Most of the people I hang with view education as a given.
 

Russ H

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Runum said:
I have personally seen many parents that were "homeschooling" their kids when they really weren't. I have spoken about it many times. I'm not against homeschooling, I'm against the kids not getting an education.
I recall one very smart kid I ran into that was homeschooled.

Problem is/was, he was completely socially inept. I mean bad.

So were his parents.

Perhaps socialization issues are more about the parent's inability to socialize, than about the lack of exposure to social situations.

Kinda the same point you just made about parent's inability to be good teachers, Greg. :smxF:

-Russ H.
 

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